Safety Ryan Clark loves playing football, so much so that every time he takes the field, even in his 12th season, he still gets butterflies.
“I am nervous every game,” said Clark. “When I stop it’s time for me to hang it up. Those little butterflies let you know you are still alive, that it’s still important and that you respect this game.
“I like it. I like being nervous. I am on edge about the first three plays and then I calm down and have a good time. “
Clark will have a new duty this season, taking the field as a defensive captain at the coin toss for the first time in his career.
“In college I never wanted to be a captain,” he said. “I always ran out of the tunnel last. Coach (Mike) Tomlin asked me last year against Washington if I wanted to be a captain. I told him I want to stick to my routine.
“Going out for the coin toss in one way will be weird for me, but it’s also a blessing. It will be a little nerve-wracking, but also exciting.”
And despite the fact that it will change his routine, Clark will be ready to go right on time.
“People always ask the same thing, ‘Are you ready for Sunday,’” said Clark. “My answer is always the same. ‘I will be ready at 12:59.’ That is when I will be ready. That is when I will be focused in and ready to play the game.
“I understand the process, the preparation for the game. You have to be ready to play when it’s time, no sooner, no later.”
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